Grade 1 Derby Season Opens Saturday

The August Heat returns to the track in Los Al Winter Derby trials.

Q-Racing Journal
January 24, 2013

The Grade 1 derby season starts Saturday night at Los Alamitos with Bobby Cox’s homebred The August Heat, a close second in the $2,024,275 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1), returning in the trials to the $232,650 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1).

The 10 fastest qualifiers from the six trials return in the 400-yard finals on February 16.

The August Heat (Corona Cartel-Jess Genuine by Mr Jess Perry) got hot this winter in his latest two starts when he won his Los Alamitos Two Million trial by 1 1/2 lengths and then just missed the win in the Los Alamitos Two Million, the richest race during the yearlong season at Los Alamitos. In the 400-yard Two Million, The August Heat battled with Matabari and suffered a very narrow defeat in the tight finish between the top-four runners.

Before moving to the Jaime Gomez barn at Los Alamitos, The August Heat raced at Ruidoso Downs and Lone Star Park. He was second in his Ruidoso Futurity trial and third in his All American Futurity trial at Ruidoso Downs and then traveled to Lone Star Park to finish third in the $425,565 Dash For Cash Futurity (G1).

The August Heat races in the second trial and faces $398,000 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity (RG2) runner-up JR Dynasty Mountain (FDD Dynasty-Prissy B Panther by Panther Mountain) and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity third-place finisher and fellow Million qualifier Far Niente (FDD Dynasty-Shahayla by Chicks Beduino).

The first trial brings together PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Stel My Corona (Stel Corona-Ocean Express by Fishers Dash) and $375,000 Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG2) winner Secretly Hot (Walk Thru Fire-Secret Reflection by Raise A Secret).

Tony Doughtie’s homebred Stel My Corona has improved as he has matured. The Paul Jones-trained gelding won his maiden in his third start and then stepped up with an upset victory in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity in his sixth start on October 6. He won by a half length at 12-1 odds with a :17.498 time for 350 yards. He was then a troubled second in his Los Alamitos Two Million trial behind The August Heat.

Manuel Lorenzana’s Secretly Hot nosed out Beg Stel Or Borrow by a nose in the Governor’s Cup Futurity back on July 28 as the 22-10 favorite. The Jesse Ray Godinez-trained filly raced to her first win since the Governor’s Cup Futurity when she won the Holiday Handicap in her latest start.

Arnold Gonzalez’s Fires Blazin (Walk Thru Fire-Thatsa Blazin Chick by Chicks A Blazin) is very well seasoned at the Grade 1 level after qualifying for the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million, Golden State Million and the Los Alamitos Million futurities. The gelding’s best effort was a second-place finish, beaten by a length, behind world champion One Dashing Eagle in the Ed Burke Million.

Fires Blazin drew into the fourth trial against Wild West Futurity winner Checkspeed (Check Him Out-Speedy Speedette by Red Hot Rhythm), who has been first or second in his latest four starts for trainer John Wells.